Atherton Collieries FC “Unbeaten all season”

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Well unbeaten isn’t strictly true, they went out of the FA Cup in the replay on penalties to Radcliffe Borough so really that doesn’t count in the grand scheme of things.

“The Colls” are a joy to watch, especially at home on their massively sloping pitch, goals are a plenty especially in the oppositions net, free scoring does not cover it.

P11  W11  D0  L0  F47  A6  Pts33 are the bare bones of an incredible start to the season, they are progressing unbeaten in three various Cup competitions, hence the backlog of  league fixtures.

Currently they are in second place in the North West Counties League Division One, one point behind Cammell Laird 1907 who have played four games more.

The Merseyside outfit have only lost one game this season and that was against ACFC at home 2-1 on the first day of the season.

Twenty games unbeaten with ten clean sheets is absolutely stunning by anyone’s standards, their Alder Street ground is tucked away in amongst the terrace houses and is more than well worth a visit.

A welcoming supporters club, with decent well priced beers on offer and a good assortment of grub is also on hand from all the friendly staff.

But the main joy is the football on offer, no quarter asked or given by an exciting outfit who seem to be playing for the pure enjoyment of it all, I know that their has to be a game plan and caution applied in some instances but the team really is playing without fear and certainly no favours to the opposition.

Scorelines of  5-1, 6-1, 4-0, 6-0, 5-3, 5-0 are the norm so far this season both home & away, last game was an FA Vase first round proper away at near neighbours and third in the league Daisy Hill.

Colls thumped them 8-0 to progress to the next round, so if you are ever at a loose end, on a Saturday or a Tuesday evening check out their fixture list and go and treat yourself.



The following script is taken from their official site …

Atherton Collieries Football Club was established in 1916 by miners from the six pits which were then operative within the old urban district of Atherton.

Between 1919 and 1965 they were winners of the Bolton Combination League ten times.

They established a noted reputation in Lancashire and by 1964-65 had won the Lancashire Junior Shield six times, a record which is still unsurpassed.

They are affectionately nicknamed ‘The Welfare’, ‘The Miners’ or ‘Sooty’.

They play at Alder Street and the much maligned, but recently demolished, main stand was described in David Baukham’s book Dugouts as “leaning forward as if in prayer for its continued survival”. 

They joined the Lancashire Combination Division Two in 1950 before leaving in 1952 to play again in the Bolton Combination,. They rejoined the Lancashire Combination in 1971 before becoming founder members of the Cheshire County League Division Two in 1978-79.

They joined the North West Counties League as founder members in 1982-83, winning the third division in 1986-87.

Steady progress off the pitch, with floodlights being erected in 1994, was matched by progress on the pitch as Colls’ final league position improved season on season. This culminated in promotion to the first division after finishing the 1995-96 season as runners-up to Vauxhall GM.

Colls have suffered mixed fortunes during their tenure in Division One.

Their best season came in 2006-07 when they finished in seventh place under Phil Brown. During 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons Anthony Pilkington made 35 appearances for the club scoring 19 goals.

He subsequently has played for Stockport County, Huddersfield Town and Norwich City. The club were relegated at the end of the 2008/09 campaign and Steve Pilling was appointed manager in August 2009. In 2010/11 the club won their first NWCFL silverware for decades when AFC Liverpool were beaten 3-2 (aet) in the First Division Trophy Final.

Season 2011/12 saw the club finish fourth in Division one but another trophy was added to the honours board.

The Bolton Hospital Cup was won for the first time in twenty five years with a penalty shootout triumph over Eagley.

The Reebok final had ended 2-2. Seasons 2012/13 and 2013/14 saw the team lead the NWCFL First Division in the early stages but fall away towards the end.

Steve was a committed servant to the club and in his five seasons at the club the team finished in 6th, 5th, 4th, 4th and 5th position respectively.

Michael Clegg took over the managerial reins at the commencement of the 2014/15 campaign.

He had previously enjoyed stints at near neighbours Pennington and Atherton LR and with the help of strong backroom support and local players he is endeavouring to get Atherton Collieries further up the non league pyramid. 

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